This is going to hinge on some things.
You “assumed” it went in the water, but did you have “KVC” - “Knowledge or virtual certainty”?
How long did you search? After your search, did you have “knowledge or virtual certainty”?
You search, didn’t find your ball, and likely (in your opinion) thought you had that KVC.
You dropped at the best estimate for where your ball crossed.
You played the shot, as that was the ball in play.
You found your original ball, but since you’d (likely) done the above, it was just another random ball, basically. It does tell you that maybe next time look “better” as you’d have saved yourself a shot, but it’s just a ball you pick up and ignore, basically, as the ball you substituted and played was fine.
That’s all “most likely.” If you dropped a ball WITHOUT the KVC, that is a different can of worms.
I’m going to try hitting balls while restricting hip turn in the backswing tomorrow. It looks like I am rotating them way too far at the top of my backswing. I think it will help my sequence coming back down.
I chose the last answer because… I don’t really understand the “other sport” stuff. I love hockey, football, soccer… F1. My wife couldn’t care less about any of those.
But I also don’t really care if she plays a lot of golf. It’s fine by me that she doesn’t, really.
What I’m asking is… make the biggest swing you can make with good contact, and keep trying to make it just a little bit longer and longer. If it’s a 1/4 swing for now, or 3/8, start there, and then push it.